Jean Vanier Catholic School

Mar. 9, 2018

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Leadership Message

Learning through Exploration: Capitalizing on Curiosity

During a Learning Walk-through this week, I knelt down beside a table of early thinkers and asked, “What are you building?”

The response came, without hesitation, “A constellation!”

This was kindergarten! WOW! The capacity for what our children can do when we plant a seed and then, step back and allow for exploration is amazing. Developing the competencies of learning that will enable today’s thinkers to be tomorrow’s doers takes intentional planning and purposeful teaching. If you were to visit some of our classrooms during exploration, you might wonder what kind of learning is taking place as it does not look like the traditional concept of a classroom. However, the problem solving, innovation, creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative skills that are being fostered is exactly the kind of thinking needed for our complex world today. On Wednesday, the whole school engaged in planning for building Leprechaun Traps. Once again, you could observe anywhere in our school, kids working together to innovate and solve problems. The engagement and empowerment was amazing! Kudos to our JV Staff for creating and supporting this type of learning for our kids. It takes a purposeful balance of “stepping back” and “letting go” with just enough support and guidance to allow them to fly. We may think this is a new concept but early thinkers like Socrates knew that curiosity was key to learning…

Wisdom begins in wonder”. -Socrates

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Student safety

A recently reported incident involving two young students at one of our schools, who were approached by an older student has raised the issue of stranger danger and the need for parents to have delicate conversations with their childern about personal safety. The best defense in approaching Stranger Danger is to have those challenging conversations with our children about what they can do as individuals to keep themselves safe both at home, school and in the community. Here are a few tips to start the conversation:

Stranger Danger Tips - Child

  • Teach your children that a stranger is anyone they don’t know, and that even someone who is friendly is a stranger; if a stranger touches them or tries to take them somewhere against their will, they should scream, kick, and yell - this applies to people they know, as well, as it is more common for children to be victimized by someone they know than a stranger

  • Vehicles — Never approach vehicles. In fact, if ever approached by a vehicle, RUN in the opposite direction that the vehicle is traveling and tell an adult.

  • Names — No visible names on outerwear or backpacks.

  • It's OK to yell — If someone grabs your child, they should hit, kick,and yell as loudly as possible.

  • Password — Use a password that is easy for your children to remember, so that if you must send a friend of family member to pick them up, they will know it's safe because that person has the password.

  • Emergency numbers — Remind children that in an emergency, they can dial 911 or 0 from a phone booth, without any money.

  • Safety in numbers — Children should always travel in groups of 2 or more. Always take the same route and check in when you arrive home, if necessary.

  • Teach more than once — Start young, teach them again and again – and practice dangerous situations, modifying and adjusting to fit their growing understanding.

  • Trust your instincts — If someone doesn't make you feel safe, it's OK to run away and tell an adult you trust.

  • Adults don't ask children for help — So if someone does, it's a sign of danger. Run, and tell an adult you trust.

  • People with bad intentions don't always look like bad people — Dangerous people can look friendly. You know they aren't good people if you feel badly when you're with them. Again, trust your instincts.

  • Strangers — Don't teach your children to fear strangers, teach them to fear strangeness. If we teach our children never to talk to strangers, who will they go to in case of an emergency?

  • Secrets — If someone tells you to keep a secret from your mom or your dad, don't do it! Tell your parents right away. That's a big sign of danger.

  • Ask first — Don't go anywhere, with anyone, without your parents permission.

  • Lost in a store — If you get lost in a store you can ask for help from a person in uniform who works for the store, or you can go to the till, or find a woman – especially a woman with a child – and ask for help). Don't ever leave the store with anyone, even with the woman or someone else in a uniform

Child Safe Canada 2016

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

Bookings for Interviews will open on Tuesday March 13th at 4pm. Parents may book by going to use event code 'vpcgt'

Interviews will take place on March 20th and 21st.

If you have any difficulties booking please contact the office.

Tricky Tom the Leprechaun: Leprechaun Traps

Our students received a letter from Tricky Tom the Leprechaun last week. Tricky Tom challenged the students to build traps to try and catch a leprechaun. There is an excitement around the school as we make preparations to catch this trickster. This will be a whole school project that will take place on March 15th. Students have worked this week to find partners in other grades to work with. Next Thursday, March 15, our school will be involved in a Makerspace afternoon. Makerspace is an inquiry-based, project-based, collaborative model which allows students to share ideas, problem solve and be creative.

Students from all grades will be building Leprechaun traps together in small groups. Your children would have met with their group this past week. Please send in any of the following materials for the groups to use. If you have extra supplies on the list, please forward those to the school as well. We are looking to establish a permanent Makerspace area in our school.

  • Small boxes - shoe, cereal, kleenex etc.

  • Paper or plastic cups

  • Plastic fruit baskets

  • Masking tape

  • Duct tape

  • Pipe cleaners

  • Clothespins

  • Popsicle sticks

  • Buttons

  • Yarn

  • String

  • Wire

  • Foil tart tins or pie tins

  • Wrapping paper

  • Feathers

  • Paper towel tubes/cardboard tubes

  • Fabric

We are also looking for glue guns, glue sticks, screwdrivers, scissors and pliers that might be donated on a permanent basis.

Leprechaun Trap Whole School Planning!

Pysanka Making! Thanks to Pani Sombyk & Pani Lesoway for organizing this beautiful tradition for our school.

Mental Health Day at JV-Mental Health Comes in Many Colours

Thanks to Mr. Fras and the student nurses from Grant MacEwan University who have planned and organzied a Mental Health Day for our JV students on March 14, 2018. Activities and learning sessions will take place during the day. Students are invited to wear bright, colourful clothes that day in support of Mental Health awareness.
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We would like to thank Kelly Davies and Sun Best Fruits for supplying us with apples for the first part of the school year. The students loved the fresh apples!

If there are any families that are willing to donate apples for our students, your generosity is appreciated. It would also be appreciated if anyone knows of a business or organization that may be willing to help also. The cost for a weeks worth of apples is approximately $90. Donations of apples can be left at the office. We are also open to donations of other fruits as well! Thank-you for your support!

We Love Willis Wednesdays!

Growing Brains, Sharing Smiles at JV!

Learning through Competencies

We are focusing on using the language and philosophies of learning through the competencies at Jean Vanier. Through competencies, students develop and connect key aspects of knowing, thinking and doing across a variety of learning contexts, both within and outside school. As students develop competencies through learner outcomes, they acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes that contribute to their success as lifelong learners and active citizens.

Order your Spirit wear now!

Jean Vanier Spirit wear is now available for ordering, please see information below.

Order deadline is Thursday March 29.

If you would like to try on some samples for size they will be available during parent teacher interviews.

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OLPH Sacraments Information

First Reconciliation and First Communion registrations are still being accepted until March 15 for children in Grade two and older.

Missed the retreats for these sacraments? Makeup dates are:

First Reconciliation retreat Tuesday March 20 at 6:30 pm

First Communion retreat Tuesday April 10 at 6:30 pm

First Communion Mass Saturday, April 29 1:30 pm

News from BUCPS


We will be having our next meeting on Monday, March 12th at ABJ school @ 7:00pm. Please note location change. We look forward to seeing you there!

Greetings from Camp Encounter and Our Lady of Victory Camp!

The time has arrived for us to let the young people of our Archdiocese know to Come Camping with Christ and we need your help! Our Lady of Victory Camp and Camp Encounter offer exciting opportunities for young people to experience the love of Christ through week-long faith experiences. In addition, older students gain valuable leadership experience as they attend a leadership retreat and have the opportunity to be counsellors (small group leaders) during a camper week. Both camps are owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Edmonton and are accredited members of the Alberta Camping Association.

The Catholic schools within the Archdiocese are one of the best ways for us to make young people aware of our camps and the joy that awaits them there. Your assistance in the following ways would be greatly appreciated:

  • Attach our Newsletter to your Newsletter, website and by any other means that your school uses to communicate information. We ask that you include our information in your newsletter more than once – preferably in March, April, May and June.
  • Print and display the attached poster.
  • Print and display information postcards in a prominent location in your school. If you print them back to back, then you can cut them in half so they look like a postcard.
  • Consider bringing your students to a retreat at camp! Both camps offer spring and/or fall bookings for school groups. Though this spring is filling quickly, there are still some spots available. This is a wonderful way to introduce your students to the idea of Camping with Christ!

If you have any questions about Camp Encounter and Our Lady of Victory Camp or would like more information, please check out our websites at or or contact our camp office: (403)986-6582 or by email or

Thank you for your time and assistance. We look forward to seeing many young people from your school at our camps. May God bless you and your school family abundantly!

The Week Ahead...

Mar. 12- Assembly 8:50 am

Mar. 12- Softball Alberta 3M

Mar. 13- Softball Alberta 4S and 1/2 of 4C

Mar. 13- Softball Alberta 4R and 1/2 of 4C

Mar. 13- Interview Bookings open at 4pm

Mar. 14- Mental Health Day

Mar. 14- Sportball

Mar. 15- St. Patrick's Day/Spirit Day

Mar. 15- Makerspace Leprechaun

Mar. 16- Teachers PET 1K My World

THE MONTH AHEAD ..... a few extra upcoming events

Mar. 19- Assembly 1 pm

Mar. 20- Hot Lunch ABJ Catering

Mar. 20-21- Parent Teacher and Student Interviews

Mar. 23- (Resuming) Apr. 3- Spring Break No School

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2017-2018 Approved School Calendar

The 2017-2018 school calendar has been approved by the EICS School Board. To view, please click on the link below:

Jean Vanier Catholic School

To contact any of our staff members via email, on our website under the "Contact" tab, is a conatct form that you can fill out. Select the staff member from the dropdown box you wish to contact, fill in your name, your email address, your message and hit send. Staff will receive emails and respond within 24-48 hours. Thank-you.

Parent/Caregivers Winter Sessions Programs